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View Poll Results: What should be done of (pre-production) Media Drive vehicles?
Scrap them 17 3.92%
Send back to plant and re-fit to latest version and then sell them 14 3.23%
Keep as display in showroom 56 12.90%
Use internally by the company for employees and mundane jobs 292 67.28%
Use for crash tests 147 33.87%
Use for future testing of engine options, new features 217 50.00%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 434. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 5th February 2019, 13:11   #1
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Post What should be done to (pre-production) Media Drive vehicles?

If the media drive vehicles are pre-production variants, and a lot of difference creeps in during the media drive and the ones that actually get delivered to the buyers, then keeping the pre-production vehicles in the display garners a lot of negative publicity if they are not as perfect as the ones being delivered.

Thus the options, to understand better what can be done or what should be done?

P.S. I am not affiliated to any car manufacturer.

Last edited by Dr.Suraj : 5th February 2019 at 13:20.
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Old 5th February 2019, 13:32   #2
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Default re: What should be done to (pre-production) Media Drive vehicles?

Any option other than - 'Keep as display in showrooms'.

That's the absolute worst thing a manufacturer could do - and ruins the initial hype and showroom walk-ins that a product receives.

The display and TD cars have to provide the exact experience to customers that his fresh new car will provide.
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Old 5th February 2019, 13:35   #3
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Default re: What should be done to (pre-production) Media Drive vehicles?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Suraj View Post
If the media drive vehicles are pre-production variants, and a lot of difference creeps in during the media drive and the ones that actually get delivered to the buyers, then keeping the pre-production vehicles in the display garners a lot of negative publicity if they are not as perfect as the ones being delivered.

Thus the options, to understand better what can be done or what should be done?

P.S. I am not affiliated to any car manufacturer.
Am not sure about India but most manufacturers abroad scrap or destroy pre-production cars or they are used for production validation. Our Skoda during the Spiti trip was a pre-production car and used for media drivers or left in the factory.

Media cars - well these are full blown production cars, sold as slightly used! Not ethical though. Abroad, a lot of them get a lot of stuff replaced before being sold off or even destroyed. I read one magazine where the person bought an AMG C63 which had been used as the AMG Experience car but had no problem with it.

In India where consumer laws and dealer liability is lax, nothing happens. The company will float a tender to get rid of a certain number of cars, a dealer or a consortium will buy the cars and resell them, that's it!
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Old 5th February 2019, 13:43   #4
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Default re: What should be done to (pre-production) Media Drive vehicles?

My friend works with a two-wheeler manufacturer and he got a bike from the company for personal use. I rode the bike and observed that it had quite a bit of vibration and refinement issues. It was then that he told me that it was a pre-production model. In his company, such pieces are given out to employees (not sure about the monetary arrangement). I think there are umpteen ways of utilising such pre-production pieces which are not final in terms of components, improvements etc.

Manufacturers can give them out / sell them to employees, use as company vehicles ferrying employees, continue testing some components etc. But the last thing they should do is to hand them over to prospective customers. I am sure many media drives happen with cars/bikes which are not final guise and manufacturers may even be requesting media to not report any such issues since they will anyways be fixed. Yet, no excuse for putting these out in hands of common public.

If a customer is evaluating a product in-person, it is absurd to wash off problems by quoting that it is pre-production model. That is just lousy.
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Old 5th February 2019, 13:59   #5
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Default re: What should be done to (pre-production) Media Drive vehicles?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
Any option other than - 'Keep as display in showrooms'.

That's the absolute worst thing a manufacturer could do - and ruins the initial hype and showroom walk-ins that a product receives.

The display and TD cars have to provide the exact experience to customers that his fresh new car will provide.
But this is assuming media cars aren't up to scratch. I voted for this in addition to other options because I believe media cars should be final production cars, and any car with its salt should be built well enough to still wow a customer on a test drive post media drive abuse (which abuse should be no more pushing cars without running them in).

Absolute and complete no-nos for me are scrapping or selling to customers. Scrapping is an absolute waste of resources. Selling is unethical - I for one refuse to incur the depreciation on a new car if I'm not the one carefully, lovingly and assiduously running it in.


It always amazes me that guys like Doug DeMuro (whose work I thoroughly enjoy) get to hoon around in new super cars that'll be sold to a customer. I simply cannot fathom how that works out.

Last edited by Mu009 : 5th February 2019 at 14:04. Reason: Added some stuff.
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Old 5th February 2019, 14:12   #6
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Default re: What should be done to (pre-production) Media Drive vehicles?

Voted for -
Send back to plant and re-fit to latest version and then sell them
Or
Use for future testing of engine options, new features

They can be sent back to the plant, stripped and fed back into the production process, however they do it. So that it comes out as a brand new final spec vehicle. Or keep it and use for future testing.

Absolutely not to use as showroom display as it would lead to incorrect advertising. Not for crash test, else if it fails then company would make excuses that it was pre-production!
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Old 5th February 2019, 14:15   #7
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Default re: What should be done to (pre-production) Media Drive vehicles?

They are free to choose any other option than keeping it as a display in the showroom. That is one of the worst things to do with a pre-production car. The only thing worse if offering them as test drive cars.

Have voted for the option which I feel is the most apt.
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Old 5th February 2019, 17:35   #8
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Default Re: What should be done to (pre-production) Media Drive vehicles?

Best thing to do (and which many brands do) is give these off to a senior employee to use. Second choice = give it to a car magazine / website as a long-term tester.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrodoOfTheShire View Post
Send back to plant and re-fit to latest version and then sell them
Logistical nightmare. Impossible to do in today's manufacturing processes which are precision-oriented. They can build a car from scratch, but not necessarily rebuild an existing one.
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Old 5th February 2019, 18:06   #9
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Default Re: What should be done to (pre-production) Media Drive vehicles?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Second choice = give it to a car magazine / website as a long-term tester.
.
Won't then the car magazine/website report those issues seen in pre-production units? That's risky!
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Old 5th February 2019, 19:02   #10
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Default Re: What should be done to (pre-production) Media Drive vehicles?

Pre-production vehicles cant be categorised into a single group. They exist in various stages of maturity. Depending upon the level of maturity, its fate is decided by the manufacturer. Media cars are closest to series production and sometimes the first few cars produced. If its a prototype that is to be given out to a third party like media, it comes with certain risks. Such test drives are done in a very controlled manner with hard limits on where what is done. Such cars are also not allowed on public roads.
Each manufacturer will have their own internal policies to govern the use of any such vehicle and as I personally experience, they are very stringent with it. Prototypes which are not series produced are always scrapped regardless of how good their condition is. The next batch of cars with slightly mature parts are kept for internal uses, testing of upgrades etc and limited to use by certain individuals only. The first batch of series cars are homologated and provided to the media, used for publicity, events etc. After this, a few cars still stay with the publicity and marketing people while the rest are distributed to various departments. These can be used by employees for both internal and external transport. Some are even handed over to institutions for academic purposes. But they generally are not sold to employees unless as a used car after a few years.
I have seen many expensive cars in excellent condition go to the crusher. The only reason for this is the car is a pre production car with a few experimental parts. This car on a public road will be a danger in case some part falls especially like the suspension or brake. Such cars dont even make it to a media drive since it will be a risk to the mediaperson. The cars given out for test drives are production cars itself, with a few initial niggles in some cases like poor paint finish, some loose ends here and there, irregular panel alignment and so on. But it will be in a good level of maturity except for some fine tuning.
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Old 5th February 2019, 19:13   #11
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Default Re: What should be done to (pre-production) Media Drive vehicles?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Suraj View Post
Won't then the car magazine/website report those issues seen in pre-production units? That's risky!
Advertising contracts take care of everything. Zero risk . Do you seriously expect objective reporting from those who run sponsored articles?
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Old 5th February 2019, 20:15   #12
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Default Re: What should be done to (pre-production) Media Drive vehicles?

I think it can be put to multiple uses. Anything other than selling them to an unsuspecting buyer. I don't mind even using them as showroom display or TD vehicles as regardless of the abuse it faces, if serviced properly, it can definitely serve as a TD vehicle. Use as an internal vehicle, for future testing or crash tests are all valid options too.
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Old 5th February 2019, 20:25   #13
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Default Re: What should be done to (pre-production) Media Drive vehicles?

Please add another option, gift them to poor but deserving people who can fully utilise those vehicles and give constructive feedback directly to the company instead of giving them to magazines for sponsored articles. I can name a few such deserving people if given the chance
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Old 5th February 2019, 20:47   #14
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Default Re: What should be done to (pre-production) Media Drive vehicles?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Best thing to do (and which many brands do) is give these off to a senior employee to use. Second choice = give it to a car magazine / website as a long-term tester.
Completely agree on this. Best thing is to give it to the Management, Employee happy and at the same risk of getting bad reviews is mitigated too.

After all the effort, not sure why they have to go the "penny wise, pound foolish" way. Its not that TATA motors is so tight on budget that they cant write off a few Trial production/pre-production cars.
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Old 5th February 2019, 23:55   #15
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Default Re: What should be done to (pre-production) Media Drive vehicles?

I am assuming that this poll is related to the vehicles from Pre-Production (Mass Manufacturing stage), not from development prototype stage.

Quote:
1. Use for future testing of engine options, new features
2. Use internally by the company for employees and mundane jobs
3. Scrap them
The above 3 are most common (not in order of preference, depend on the condition of vehicle)

Quote:
4. Use for crash tests
This is also an option, but not preferred. Crash tests for the particular model are already done, there are no point doing them again. No additional benefit may be arrived as the data for all permutation & combination of child parts/ components is usually captured in development stage. Post-production changes for further crash safety enhancement usually mean big changes and high time/cost.

Quote:
5. Keep as display in showroom
Not recommended. See Harrier thread for the result .

Quote:
6. Send back to plant and re-fit to latest version and then sell them
Not sure about legal implications, but may be possible to sell to employees/ dealers under full disclosure for their own use. I know cases where old stock vehicles (usually more than a year old) have been sold to employees for big discounts (including full warranty); and after taking undertaking that the vehicle will be used by employee or immediate family only and won't be sold before a certain period.
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